10 Simple Ways to Raise Kids Who Love to Read

Use these ideas to nurture your family’s love affair with books, and you’ll increase the odds of hooking your kids on a lifetime reading habit.

Since my childhood days of reading Richie Rich comic books and Nancy Drew mysteries, I’ve always been a voracious reader. As the family bookworm, I earned the nickname “Booka” from my dad, who was a big reader himself. And my mom played her part in fostering my obsession with the printed word by spending endless hours reading my favorite books to me as a child.

Now that I have my own family, I wanted to make sure I passed on my first true love to my two boys. From the time they were babies, I infused their lives with reading, library story times, and word games, buying and borrowing literally thousands of books during our 10 years of homeschooling together.

Sadly, plenty of research points to a downward trend in recreational reading, particularly among teens and young adults, such as the report by the National Endowment for the Arts. Most alarming, cites the report, is that “both reading ability and the habit of regular reading have greatly declined among college graduates.”

One way to stem the tide of this disturbing trend is to instill the love of reading in your kids from a very young age. But don’t rely on schools to do this. In fact, the same schools that teach your kids to read often destroy their love of reading, as noted in a recent article by clinical psychologist Erica Reischer in The Atlantic about the negative effects of forced reading logs.

“When motivation to do an activity comes from outside, via rewards or mandates, it tends to undermine people’s interest in doing that activity for its own sake,” writes Reischer. “This decline in motivation ultimately affects enjoyment, creativity, and even performance.”

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to foster the love of reading in your own home. Let these ideas jumpstart your own family’s love affair with books.

Be a reader role model

Make sure your kids see you reading frequently, whether it’s the newspaper in the morning, a magazine while dinner is cooking, or your favorite novel before bed. Bring books with you everywhere you go – from a small paperback you stuff in your purse to a few magazines you stash in the car to a Kindle loaded with books for your next family vacation. Make books a habit in your own life first.

Read to your kids every day

It’s like a daily vitamin for their brain. If you need some ideas for good, age-appropriate books, check out these notable book lists from the Association for Library Service to Children, Common Sense Media, Time Magazine, Goodreads, and New York Public Library.

Make friends with your local public library and visit regularly

Besides allowing you to borrow books for free, many libraries offer lots of child-centered programs, including story times, puppet shows, magic shows, arts-and-crafts workshops, chess clubs, summer reading programs, book clubs, teen councils, and more. Help your kids view the library as the place to go for fun.

Fill your home with books

Literally, put reading material in baskets and on shelves all over the house – in the living room, the family room, the bathroom, etc.

Keep reading together once your kids can read by themselves

Sure, you want to applaud this milestone and encourage solo reading. But the many benefits of being read to continue to accrue, even as kids get old enough to read on their own. Plus, reading together creates a treasured bonding time for you and your kids.

Create a comfy reading nook

Perhaps you’ve got a cozy window seat with great natural light streaming through. Or maybe you’ve got a beanbag chair you can place next to a basket of books. Even just one comfortable chair will work. Add soft pillows, a blanket to snuggle with, and good lighting for the perfect reading get away.

Get kids hooked on a series

Think “Magic Tree House,” “Judy Moody,” and “Encyclopedia Brown” for younger readers; “Big Nate,” “The 39 Clues,” and “Harry Potter” for middle schoolers; and “Hunger Games,” “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and “Twilight” for older teens.

Don’t rule out comic books and graphic novels

With the visual appeal of high-resolution graphics, sometimes it’s hard to turn kids on to a page full of words. Good comic books and graphic novels can be the gateway to good literature if kids equate reading with fun. I can trace some of my favorite childhood memories to reading comic books (Archie and the gang at Riverdale High, “Little Dot,” “Wendy the Good Little Witch,” “Little Lotta,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost”) and comic strip collections (“Calvin and Hobbes,” “Peanuts,” “Family Circle”). These days, you can even find manga Shakespeare and manga classics, like “Les Miserables” and “The Scarlet Letter.”

Borrow, rent, or buy audiobooks

Listening to a great audiobook without worrying about vocabulary or correct pronunciation offers a convenient and effortless way to get lost in a story. (My boys’ favorites were many classic titles like “King Arthur,” “Arabian Knights,” and “Rip Van Winkle” read by award-winning storyteller Jim Weiss.)

Many public libraries offer free CDs to borrow, as well as downloadable mp3s or streaming audio. Although you can purchase many audiobooks on iTunes and join paid subscription services like Audible, you can also take advantage of free audio books (with some children’s titles but mostly classics for older kids and adults) on websites such as Open Culture, Thought Audio, Lit2Go, and Podiobooks.

Cap off a favorite book with special treats and activities 

Some treat ideas: blueberry pie (“Blueberries for Sal”), orange slices (“Very Hungry Caterpillar”), homemade butter beer (“Harry Potter”), and peach cobbler (“James and the Giant Peach”).

Some activity ideas: clue-finding mission (“Nancy Drew”), visit to a farm (“Charlotte’s Web”), DIY magic show (“Half Magic”), and salt-dough maps (“Scrambled States of America”).

Use these ideas to nurture your family’s love affair with books, and you’ll increase the odds of hooking your kids on a lifetime reading habit.

10 Novels That Explore What It’s Really Like to Grow Up

From the struggles of self-identity, domestic violence, and suicide and loss, these 10 new YA novels poignantly tackle the tough issues.

It’s been a long time since I was a teen, but I remember the challenges of dealing with that first broken heart, watching my body morph from a child into a woman, and entering the threshold of adulthood — without a plan or any direction. The teenage years are full of change, pressure, and uncertainty. Even in stable, solid families, teens grapple with a wide range of issues as they grow and develop.

The statistics are shocking:
  • About 20 percent of teens will experience depression before reaching adulthood (DoSomething.org).
  • Roughly 75 percent of girls with low self esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating (DoSomething.org).
  • Almost 40 percent of homeless people in the U.S. are under 18 (Covenant House).
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens. A recent survey of high school students found that almost 1 in 5 had seriously considered suicide; more than 1 in 6 had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than 1 in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide).
  • LGBT youth are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, suicide attempts, and suicide (Centers for Disease Control).
  • According to statistics, about 30 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have been involved in bullying, either as a bully or as a victim of teenage bullying (Family First Aid).
  • Living with domestic violence significantly alters a teen’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years (Childhood Domestic Violence Association).
  • During the past month, 26.4 percent of underage persons (ages 12-20) used alcohol, and binge drinking among the same age group was 17.4 percent (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
  • By the twelfth grade, about half of adolescents have abused an illicit drug at least once (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
  • When a parent talks to their teenager regularly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol they lessen the chance of their child using drugs by 42 percent! However, only 25 percent of teens report actually having these conversations (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

It’s critical that we have the difficult discussions with our teens and arm them with resources that can help. Books are one way to empower them.

From the struggles of self-identity, the trauma of domestic violence, to the unthinkable heartbreak of suicide and loss, these 10 new YA novels tackle the tough issues — poignantly and with unforgettable prose.

[su_spacer size=”50″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens Life Before by Michele BaconLife Before 

by Michele Bacon

Life Before is a modern coming-of-age story that finds 17-year-old Alexander (Xander) Fife excited to finish high school and start college so that his future can finally “begin.” Unfortunately for Xander, his violent, abusive father has other plans. Xander ends up on the run and on his own for the first time in his life. Author Michelle Bacon does an incredible job painting the canvas of emotional chaos experienced by children who grow up in violent and abusive homes. Teens will connect with Xander’s raw, emotional journey, and the honest voice in which his story is told.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens This Ordinary Life by Jennifer WalkupThis Ordinary Life

by Jennifer Walkup

Jasmine Torres has so much going on in her life, it’s a miracle she hasn’t suffered a nervous breakdown or run away from home. She is the glue that keeps her dysfunctional family together, dealing with her younger brother’s epilepsy, her mother’s alcoholism, and her broken heart — all while aspiring to become a radio star. But how do you fulfill your dreams with so many other responsibilities? When so many others depend on you? Hope. This Ordinary Life is a wonderful story about the love between siblings and never losing sight of your dreams, no matter what obstacles lie in your way. This beautifully written book is far from ordinary.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens Draw the Line by Laurent LinnDraw the Line 

by Laurent Linn

Sometimes the superhero isn’t the big guy, the outgoing guy, the guy who has all the girls. Sometimes the superhero is waiting in the background; waiting to ‘come out’ and turn the world upside down. When a violent hate crime occurs at a local hangout, 16-year-old Adrian must stand up and come out, or he will forever be stuck in the background. A magnificent story about self-identity, courage, and finding your way. This groundbreaking book defies genres and takes a serious look at some timely, hard-hitting issues.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens Pearl by Deirdre Riordan HallPearl 

by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Pearl Jaeger has survived being the daughter of a drug-addicted, has-been celebrity mother. She has survived living with her mother’s abusive boyfriend. She has survived fleeing that turbulent environment and bouncing from homeless shelter to homeless shelter. Now the real test begins. Can she survive boarding school — her one chance at a new beginning — or will her mother’s struggles emerge and become her own? A book intended for mature teens looking for realistic fiction addressing the struggles of addiction, love, and self-identity.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 

by Becky Albertalli

Heart wrenching, yet appropriately infused with humor, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is another remarkable piece of realistic fiction — a geeky coming-of-age story about the not-so-openly gay Simon Spier whose secret is about to come to light in the form of a wayward email. Albertalli creates a masterful world filled with relatable characters, in a happy bounce of a book.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaMy Heart and Other Black Holes 

by Jasmine Warga

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is severely depressed and fixated on suicide. But she is too scared to do it alone. After discovering a website specializing in “suicide partners,” she meets Roman and they form a pact. The two couldn’t be more polar opposite and as the end nears, Aysel finds herself questioning if she really wants to die. Can she convince Roman that life is better than death? Before it’s too late? Novelist Jasmine Warga addresses teen suicide and mental illness with grace and honesty.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens The Loose Ends List by Carrie FirestoneThe Loose Ends List 

by Carrie Firestone

Seventeen-year-old Maddie O’Neill Levine lives a comfortable life. She and her friends are excited to spend their pre-college summer on the lake with her social butterfly grandmother (Maddie’s closest ally). Her happy world turns dark when she learns that Gram is terminally ill. The summer won’t be spent with friends; it will be spent with family on a secret “death with dignity” cruise ship. The Loose Ends List is a story of endings and beginnings, of laughter and tears, of first love and of falling in love with your family all over again. Author Carrie Firestone tackles the hard discussions — death, dying, and grief — in a fresh, clever, and thoughtful way. It’s a book that once picked up, you can’t put down.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens What We Saw by Aaron HartzlerWhat We Saw 

by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw is a thought-provoking, sensitive, and spellbinding story about the courage it takes to do what’s right. Inspired by true events in the Steubenville rape case and told from the first-person account of a girl called Kate, this powerful narrative takes on themes of sexism, rape culture, feminism, and consent. It’s a novel that has the power to change the way people think, and a must-read for all young adults.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens What Happens Now by Jennifer CastleWhat Happens Now 

by Jennifer Castle

Seventeen-year-old Ari is recovering from the emotional and physical scars of cutting when she meets Camden and instantly falls in love. But Camden isn’t the glamorous boy she has imagined. He’s damaged and could easily pull Ari down. What Happens Now is a riveting tale of first love, possibilities, and overcoming the demons within. Castle handles the sensitive topics of depression and self-harm with great compassion. She not only describes what Ari is going through in words, she makes you feel her journey and the healing power of love.

[su_spacer size=”80″][/su_spacer]

Books for teens What Happens Now by Jennifer CastleThe Way I Used to Be 

by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be details the aftermath of a sexual assault from the first-person perspective of Eden. This is a powerful book about the long-term effects of rape on a girl’s life. Teens who have experienced the pain of sexual assault or abuse will appreciate this honest, raw reflection of courage and hope.

8 Books For Children That Every Adult Should Read

Great children’s literature captures the wisdom of human truth in a manner so simple, even grown-ups can understand.

Great children’s literature captures the wisdom of human truth in a manner so simple, even grown-ups can understand. I started reading these aloud to my children more than 20 years ago, and I have returned to them again and again.

For maximum benefit, I suggest reading them aloud. To yourself, if you don’t have the benefit of a young listener.

The animal family by randall jerrellThe Animal Family, by Randall Jarrell

Except for this first, the books are not listed in order of importance. But if you can read only one, make it this one.

Jarrell is a poet, so every word in this story resonates with exquisite light and tone. If you want to understand grief and joy, longing and love, if you want to learn how to accept what comes into your life and what doesn’t, then you need seek no further than this beautiful and tiny – it quite literally fits into the palm of your hand – story.

Or is it a poem? Or a song? A whisper on the breeze? No matter. Call it what you will, it will live in your heart forever.

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

The wheel on the schoolThe Wheel on the School, by Meidert Dejong

A question is born out of wonder. That seed is planted in the fertile imagination of those who are willing to consider possibilities – even impossibilities.

With cultivation, a devotion to explore unfolds, where the known is sifted through for the overlooked and the unknown is braved for the unexpected treasures it holds. Discovery leads to awe. This is a journey we all must take, at least once.

Why not begin here, with storks and wagon wheels?

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

The Fox In Sox, Dr SeussFox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss

Read this for the sheer joy of its hyper-kinetic velocity and gleeful linguistics. And because it features tweetle beetles. In a battle. With paddles. In a bottle.

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

Wolf Story Wolf Story, by William McCleery

It is always about the story. The story within the story, and the story within that story. The different permutations of the same story. The telling of the story and the listening to the story, and way the one affects the other.

Never doubt again the necessity of story, or your ability to change the story.

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

Walk when the moon is fullWalk When the Moon is Full, by Frances Hammerstrom

As we all carry on with our days, and our nights, there are other lives being led right among us, but it is so easy – too easy – to not see. To not know.

This gentle chronicle of 12 walks on 12 moonlit nights is a reminder to us all that we can travel to a whole new world without ever leaving our own. All we need do is make one small shift in our own perspective. In this case: change the time, and see with child’s eyes.

In other words, look with curiosity at the people and the landscape that we encounter every day.

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

Winnie The PoohWinnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne

A gentle and loving portrait of the spectrum of human temperament, the original Winnie-the-Pooh (no substitutions, please!) tempers its profundity with the driest of humor.

Oh, don’t we all know a glum Eeyore? An excitable Roo? An anxious Piglet?

Haven’t we all felt a bit 11-o’clock-ish?

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

Frog and toad are friendsFrog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel

Whether you have the full box-set or only one, Frog and Toad provide a primer on patience (or the lack of it), on acceptance (or the lack of it), and, most especially, on friendship.

[su_spacer size=”80″][su_spacer][/su_spacer]

Harold and the purple crayonHarold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson

This is more than a bedtime story. It’s about creating a world with one’s imagination.

It is a tale of simplicity and dreamy focus: of artistic flow where one crayon – not sixty-four, just one – is enough to draw up a solution from within.

In Gratitude for Anna Dewdney and Mama Llama

Of the books that teach our kids about the world, the lesson in Llama that Mom and Dad always come back is the sweetest.

Mama Llama hears Baby Llama crying, and the look on her face is expressive and alive. She drops the phone and runs up the stairs, pearl necklace trailing behind her. She bursts into the room to find that Baby Llama is just fine, but screaming and hollering.

It’s our toddler son’s favorite part of the book. I think he likes the excitement of the pictures. But mine comes next, when Mama Llama tells her baby why it’s going to be all right.

Anna Dewdney, author of “Llama Llama Red Pajama” and many other books, died September 3 at the age of 50. Her obituary in Publishers Weekly notes her battle with cancer, her advocacy for children’s literacy, and her request in lieu of flowers that people take time to read to a child. It talks about her most popular work, the simple story of a scared baby llama who wanted his mama to come back.

“Llama Llama Red Pajama” became part of our house soon after our son was born. The pages of our copy are torn and taped back together, and the binding has begun to stretch and pull in places. When I think of the book, I hear it in my wife’s country twang, her voice sing-songing its way through the line, “Please stop all this Llama Drama and be patient with your mama,” through the door of our son’s room.

Like many of our family’s favorite books, “Llama Llama Red Pajama” helps us teach our son about the world in a way that makes sense to him. “Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site” teaches him that everyone needs to go to sleep, even tough, tough trucks who spend all day building. “Little Blue Truck” teaches him that it’s important to be kind and helpful, even to those who don’t return the favor. And “The Little Engine That Could” teaches him to try, even when he’s not sure he can succeed.

These are good lessons, but they’re not as important as what “Llama Llama Red Pajama” teaches – that mama and dada are here. We’re coming back. We’re always here. You don’t have to be afraid.

Everyday, we say goodbye to our son. We leave him in the capable hands of our daycare, or we put him in his crib at night and close the door. With all these goodbyes, I don’t want him to be scared or worried. I want him to trust that we’re coming back at the end of the school day, or that he’s not alone in the darkness.

I want him to know, in ways that make sense to him, that I’m there. And “Llama Llama Red Pajama” helps me do that.

I know I can’t be there forever, but I don’t want him to know that’s even a possibility now. I want him to believe that we’re always going to be there when he screams and hollers in the night; that we’ll drop the phone, run up the stairs and burst into his room just like Mama Llama.

We want him to know what Mama Llama tells Baby Llama: “Mama Llama’s always near, even when she’s not right here.”

It’s a gift to be able to explain something very complicated in that way – so warm and comforting. It’s helpful to have a book to wrap around my son like a blanket, to help him not feel afraid or alone.

 Thank you, Anna, from all of us with a beloved Baby Llama in our life.

5 Patriotic Books to Read with Your Kids

From snippets of American history, to how families celebrate the day, these 5 books are sure to become Independence Day favorites.

Fireworks, barbeques, and pool parties aren’t the only way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Sometimes snuggling up with your family on the couch and reading a book is the perfect way to start, or end, the day.

Reading aloud to children, even those old enough to read themselves, is the best way to ensure their enjoyment of reading. Here are some books that will help your family celebrate Independence Day, and learn a little something, too.

Patriotic Books for kids, A is for America" by Devin Scillian1 | “A is for America” by Devin Scillian 

These alphabet books are always a hit. With short, rhyming descriptions for each letter and more detailed explanations for older children (or to read when younger ones express an interest), these books are full of fun.

This book includes American history from the beginning with bright and beautiful illustrations. From Kitty Hawk and Kansas and Kodiak Bears to Philadelphia, Pike’s Peak, and Plymouth Rock, each letter depicts something fun and meaningful to all Americans. Your child will want you to read this again and again, and you will want to!



Patriotic book for kids, "Red, White, and Boom!" By Lee Wardlaw2 | “Red, White, and Boom!” By Lee Wardlaw

This book is perfect for reading aloud to a crowd or on the comfort of your couch. Explore the different ways people celebrate, all in rhyme. Beach picnics, parades, and, of course, fireworks explode off the page with intricate and vibrant illustrations.

Your children’s attention will be easily kept with the simple, short couplets and the way the anticipation builds towards the celebration. Children will ooh and aah just like when watching fireworks later on. In fact, they’ll probably ask you to read it again and again.



Patriotic Book for kids, "This Land is Your Land" by Woodie Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen3 | “This Land is Your Land” by Woodie Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen

Children are familiar with this song that’s brought to life through pictures. The illustrations and storyline take families from one end of the country to the other, showcasing the diversity of our great nation and the people who live here. There are some parts of the book that may invite conversation about these diversities, if children are old enough to recognize them in the pictures. A great read for adults and children alike.



Patriotic Book for kids "We the Kids" by David Caltrow 4 | “We the Kids” by David Caltrow 

Through the antics of a camping trip, Caltrow shows that learning about the Constitution can be fun! This book focuses on the Preamble to the Constitution in an easy-to-understand and fun way. The cartoon-like illustrations will keep the interest of littler kids while the words of the Preamble are a great learning tool for older kids.






Patriotic book for kids, "Apple Pie Fourth of July" by Janet S. Wong5 | “Apple Pie Fourth of July” by Janet S. Wong

America is a melting pot of people from around the world, and this book shares the experiences of a young Chinese-American girl. She tries to impress upon her parents the silliness of keeping their restaurant open on this holiday. She soon learns that while hot dogs and hamburgers may be some people’s way of celebrating, lots of cultures contributed to the traditions of the Fourth of July. For example, fireworks were invented by the Chinese. It’s a great reminder that while we all come from different backgrounds, we share in making this country great.

There are hundreds of good patriotic books to read to and with your children. What are some of your favorites?

50 Awesome Picture Books Your Kid Will Love This Summer

A kid-tested, and kid-approved summer reading list, featuring 50 of the most-loved children’s picture books!

I have a secret; I am addicted to buying books.

Few things in life bring me more pleasure than a stack of new books on the counter of my favorite bookstore, purchased and ready to come home. The problem is, I’ve run out of places in my house for these stories to live. My children attempted to conquer the daunting task of organizing our endless book piles. What started out as house cleaning project, quickly turned into the three of us huddling together under the covers re-reading — and re-living — nearly every one of our favorite books.

We clearly required organizational leadership. Assuming the role of household librarian, my daughter decided that we needed some kind of a system for our never-ending piles of books. This reading list is that system, developed and sorted by my children.

Many of the recommended book lists published online are written by publishers, parents, and academic scholars. Don’t get me wrong, their recommendations are invaluable, but there is something really special about a child recommending a book. It means they’ve read it, identified with it, loved it, and asked for it again and again. The book has become part of who they are, and they want to share it.

 Summer picture book reading list

Kid-loved, kid-tested, kid-approved.

[su_spacer size=”50″][/su_spacer]

Hard Work, Perseverance, and Courage

[su_slider source=”media: 301902,301909,301908,301907,301906,301903″ width=”300″ height=”350″ title=”no” autoplay=”6500″ speed=”400″]


The Most Magnificent Thing, Ashley Spires

Giraffes Can’t Dance, Giles Andrae

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon, Patty Lovell

The Story of Ruby BridgesRobert Coles

How I Became a PirateMelinda Long

The Curious GardenPeter Brown



Innovative, Curious, and Problem Solving

[su_slider source=”media: 301915,301914,301913,301912,301911,301910″ width=”300″ height=”350″ title=”no” autoplay=”6500″ speed=”400″]


What Do You Do With an Idea, Kobi Yamada

Iggy Peck, Architect, Andrea Beaty

Going Places, Paul A. Reynolds

Rosie Revere, Engineer, Andrea Beaty

If I Built a Car, Chris Van Dusen

If I Built A House, Chris Van Dusen

The Tree House That Jack Built, Bonnie Verburg




[su_slider source=”media: 301920,301921,301922,301923,301924″ target=”blank” width=”300″ height=”360″ title=”no” autoplay=”6500″ speed=”400″]


All of his books, Dr. Seuss

The Napping House, Audrey Wood

Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie, Judy Cox and Joe Mathieu

Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type, Doreen Cronin

The Book With No Pictures, B.J. Novak

Double Trouble in Walla Walla, Andrew Clements

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorist

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Lauren Numeroff

If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Lauren Numeroff

If You Give a Dog a Donut, Lauren Numeroff

If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Lauren Numeroff

The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty

Dog vs. CatChris Gall

Bark, George,  Jules Feiffer



Inspirational, Adventurous, Life Lessons

[su_slider source=”media: 301930,301931,301932,301934,301935,301936″ target=”blank” width=”300″ height=”360″ title=”no” autoplay=”6500″ speed=”400″]


The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn

Miss Hazeltine’s Home For Shy and Fearful Cats, Alicia Potter

One, Kathryn Otoshi

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Amy Rouse

CorduroyDon Freeman

Miss RumphiusBarbara Cooney

The Story of FerdinandMunro Leaf

The Three QuestionsJon Muth

The Circus ShipChris Van Dunes

Have You Filled a Bucket TodayCarol McCloud

Where the Wild Things AreMaurice Sendak

The Giving TreeShel Silverstein

Louise, The Adventures of a ChickenKate DiCamillo

The Blessing CupPatricia Polacco

Thunder CakePatricia Polacco

The Keeping Quilt, Patricia Polacco

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris LessmoreWilliam Joyce

StellalunaJanell Cannon

The Giant CarrotJan Peck

Sylvester and the Magic PebbleWilliam Steig

OwenKevin Henkes

Ira Sleeps Over , Bernard Waber

5 Great Books For Storytime As Winter Winds Down

There’s little better than staying inside with a good book or two. Here are five wintery books that we’ve enjoyed this year.

There’s little better than staying inside with a good book or two, even in a mild winter like we’ve had this year in Vermont.

With a growing child, I’ve been taking more and more joy in perusing the shelves of my local bookstore for new and exciting things to read at story time. Here’re five wintery books that we’ve been reading recently.

Here are five wintery books that we’ve enjoyed this year.

Katy and the Big Snow, Virginia Lee Burton


23539_4This is a book I remember from my childhood: the story of an engine named Katy in the city of Geopolis during a major snow storm.  It’s a book full of wonderful illustrations that are rich in detail. When the city is snowed in, it’s Katy who plows everyone out, saving the day. Strength and persistence are the key theme here, and it’s the perfect book to read when we have our next big storm.

Beyond the Pond, Joseph Kuefler


It’s the cover of this book that drew me in a boy and his dog looking deep into a pond, with reeds, fish, sharks, and squid lurking below the surface. The boy’s pond goes deeper than expected, and with bold, minimal illustrations, he goes in search of exceptional adventures, discovering a fantastic world on the other side. It’s a story about being brave and curious, but also that even small places can be exciting to explore.

Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner and art by Christopher Silas Neal


Perfect for exploring the outside world, crunching over hard snow. As a young girl and her father go skiing in the woods, they learn all about the hidden world under the snow. Squirrels, foxes, bears, owls and more live in the forest throughout the winter months. I’ve found this to be a great read for a curious child who loves animals. The story is fantastic, but at the back, there’s a great appendix with blurbs about each animal featured in the book.

The Tea Party In The Woods, Akiko Miyakoshi


I reviewed this book the other day, and I honestly have to say that this is probably one of my most favorite children novels of all time. A young girl goes out into the woods to take a pie to her grandmother, and along the way, stumbles upon a fantastic party in the woods. This is a story about friends and sharing, and it’s accompanied by some wonderful artwork.

PUFF, William Wondriska


At a certain age, toddlers fall head over heels for trains. This book is a cute, minimalist take on train stories, about a small engine named Puff, who helps at a freight yard. When a huge snow storm makes it hard for the diesel engines to move a train, Puff fulfills his wishes to see the world by stepping up to save the day. This book is filled with bold, simple images and typography, and it’s a neat little story.

What books would you recommend for a winter story time?